Showing posts with label Siubash Ghishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Siubash Ghishing. Show all posts

Kalimpong as a tract of Leasehold Land, rented from Bhutan

7:27 PM


The bogey of Kalimpong as a tract of Leasehold Land, rented from Bhutan raises its bald wrinkled head once again; back in the nineties, its inventor, Sri Subhash Ghising used it successfully to boycott the vote. Three decades later his own disciple, who since deposed him, has pulled the same issue out of mothballs in a bid to obfuscate and belittle the declaration of Kalimpong as a district. In their speeches at Mela Ground on the 28th of January 2016, Messrs R. Moktan and Bimal Gurung roared that the District of Kalimpong could not be declared unless and until the area was integrated into the territory of India from Bhutan. They even threatened to internationalize the issue if necessary. They did not discuss the effect of such a statement on the demand for the creation of a separate State [which includes the territory of Kalimpong in its map] within the Indian Union, a cause they profess to champion.
Kalimpong as a tract of Leasehold Land, rented from Bhutan
The chickens neck area
Many of their supporters were born well after Ghising raised this bogey which had the 'intellectuals' of that era all reaching for their history books. No doubt, the same is happening now. Expect pronouncements on international law to fly through the air as new 'intellectuals' trawl and google through the net for full texts of the Treaties of Sugauli and Punakha and, for good measure, the Government of India Act 1935.

Few writers now are old enough to remember that the word "Hague" popularised by Ghising in a similar canard, became a byword for bullshit in Darjeeling parlance. Any windbag who spoke too much used to be quickly deflated by someone else retorting "ऐ , Hague न गर्न है ।"

But nostalgia clouds the vision, and now, years later, one obviously young writer gushes : "Never before in the history of politics from Darjeeling region did we ever have a leader with the political acumen, and impeccable sense of political timing as Subash. From a very close quarter I have observed him use various political terms to his advantage, with which we wouldn't even be familiar today if it wasn't for him - terms like "Gorkhaland," "Leasehold land," "Ceded land," "No Mans land," "Hague," "Article 371," "Sugauli Sandhi," and "Schedule Sixth." [sic]

One fully expects a cottage industry to grow up around Messrs Gurung and Moktan's announcement that the territory of Kalimpong belongs to Bhutan and needs to be incorporated into the Indian Union. Amateur historians will now hold forth on the various clauses of the treaties between British and Independent India with Bhutan; the definitions of lease and leasehold will be lavished microscopic attention and much time will be wasted over an issue that committed hara kiri without much persuasion years ago.

The Jan Andolan Party's invitation to Gurung for a public personal televised debate on the question has not been responded to. A debate, which if it takes place at all, will waste further time flogging a dead horse. One cannot help wondering though, whether the Hon'ble Member of Parliament from Darjeeling is not now musing over the possibility that he may have been elected partly on the strength of Bhutanese votes from Kalimpong. Intellectuals [a description none of us deserve] of all hues would do better to apply their own bald wrinkled heads to the more pressing and explosive issues of unemployment and drought exacerbated by the corruption and mal-governance of the past thirty years.

History repeats itself. But then, so do windbags.

Sans “Gorkha”: Jan Andolan Party and the Suspect Birth of “Politics of Rational” in Darjeeling

10:36 AM
Writes: Upendra

Darjeeling is a land of political intrigue; it has always been so. Sadly, all the ‘intrigue’ till date have ended up hurting us more than benefiting us. Be it the Communists demanding the formation of ‘Gorkhasthan’ in 1950s to incorporate Nepal into India, or AIGL not demanding anything while it was in power, or Subash Ghising ending up with DGHC, or Bimal Gurung having to make do with GTA. Our politicians have repeatedly failed us, and we - the people have let them do so.

It is perhaps due to all these ‘intrigues’ that though the demand for a separate administrative unit comprising of the Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars was first raised in 1907, till date we are yet to achieve it.

Adding to the milieu of this “intrigue,” yesterday “Intellectuals” from the hills announced the formation of a new political group – Jan Andolan Party.

This is perhaps the 1st time in the history of Darjeeling (post-independence) that a new political party has tried to establish themselves devoid of the “Gorkha” tag. While for most people the name may not matter, for any political analyst, this is a significant new development.

There have been complaints from some quarters in the past that the very word “Gorkha” denies inclusivity to ‘non-Gorkhas’ and thus the appeal or reach of such parties do not extend beyond the Gorkha dominated areas of Darjeeling, Terai and Dooars. Perhaps the newly formed Jan Andolan Party wants to project itself as a “non-denominational,” a “non-community specific” political party which seeks to highlight the numerous issues facing our region, and thus promote regional development.
Sans “Gorkha”: Jan Andolan Party and the Suspect Birth of “Politics of Rational” in Darjeeling

To understand the origination of the term “Jan Andolan” we have to rewind back to 2013, a year prior to 2014 MP elections. “Intellectuals” based in Delhi and led by Mr. Munish Tamang had flouted a group called “Jan Awaz” [Details:].

The newly formed group tried to create some noise back then, and also took out a rally in support of Gorkhaland in Delhi. For various reasons, they could not find much traction in Darjeeling region and “Jan Awaz” died a convenient death post the 2014 elections. However, those “intellectuals” behind the idea of a “Jan Awaz - People’s Voices” remained persistent and are now at the helm of “Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh.”

A cursory glance of the recent changes in political spectrum in our region, sort of puts more credence to the fact that the emergence of “Jan Andolan Party – People’s Movement Party” is not a random outcome. Somewhere someone has been putting a lot of thought into the shape, scope and agenda of this new political outfit.

Recently a new body “Chiya Bagan Sangram Samiti, or the Tea Garden Movement Committee” was formed, the formative meeting organized in Siliguri was attended by representatives from a ultra-left CPI(ML), CPRM and also Dr. Mahendra P Lama [Details:]. To those observing closely, it comes as no surprise that many of the post holders in this organization [CBSS], include the top brass of “Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh” including its President Mr. Sukman Moktan and VP Mr. Munish Tamang [Details:].

There is a definite trend here. ‘Jan Awaz’ of 2013 has today metamorphosed into ‘Jan Andolan,’ and they are increasing the scope of their influence. However, for them to be able to do so, they had to shed the “Gorkha” tag.

Dr. Harka Bahadur Chettri the leader of Jan Andolan Party has repeatedly insisted that “we should give up the politics of emotions, and indulge in practical politics, or the politics of rational,” and while I applaud his vision, I want to ask him this. Is the demand for a separate state for the Gorkhas not a practical and rational demand?

In the 23 point Manifesto released by Jan Andolan Party, the words “Gorkha” or “Gorkhaland” do not feature at all.

Some of my friends who are “intellectuals,” and thus vocal supporters of Jan Andolan party and its “intellectual” leadership point out the very 1st agenda on Jan Andolan Party’s manifesto and claim that the demand for a separate state is JAP’s priority.

The 1st point reads: “Work towards the goal of AUTONOMY and SELF-GOVERNANCE by the eventual attainment of a separate state of this region based on the principle of inclusiveness, territorial contiguity, cultural harmony and economic and political rationality, all the time bearing in mind the twin concerns of national integrity and security.”

While the phrase “eventual attainment of a separate state” sounds nice, what JAP has conveniently left out is the point which inspires the demand for the “separate state” – i.e. the reason why are we demanding a separate state to begin with?

Unlike the demand for Telangana, which was about fostering development in the neglected regions, the demand for a separate of Gorkhaland is about creating a niche, an identity reference point for the Gorkhas living in India.

Yes! misgovernance, discrimination and socio-economic and cultural exploitation are very strong reasons to demand a separate state, however for the Gorkhas living in India, most important of all we need a state which resolves the “IDENTITY CRISIS” faced by our community, and a state of “Gorkhaland” would go a long way in resolving the ambiguity surrounding the nationality of our community.

By keeping mum on the word “Gorkha” and “Gorkhaland” while JAP is likely to gain votes in the plains, the obvious question that one wants to thus ask is this, would a “Jan Andolan” in our region be possible without the involvement of the “Gorkhas”? Form whom do JAP hope to cause the "andolan"? Why should "Gorkhas" become a part of the "andolan" when the new party is abhorred to even using the name of our community?

Another significant omission which rattled me is this, even though JAP manifesto does talk of, “Ensure[ing] equality and quality in educational opportunities for the coming generations, especially the poor and the needy” [Section 14]. What is surprising is the fact that a political party flouted by so called “intellectuals” is mum on the demand for a Central University in our region. It is also mum on any specialized educational and training institutes such as AIIMs, IITs, IIMs to be formed in our region.

JAP is also mum on the inclusion of our region into North-east Council which would not only expedite the development process through the allocation of additional resources, but would also lay the foundation for our breaking away from Bengal.

Speaking to Indian Express, Dr. Harka yesterday said, “When you go to the Assembly as an MLA, your high command is the state government. Until you are in a good relationship with the state government, how can you get your demands met for the people who you are answerable to?” [Details:].

It was quiet revelatory of what the Jan Andolan Party hopes to achieve – excellent relations with Bengal, so that their benevolence may somehow foster economic development in our region. Gorkha “intellectuals” in JNU use a word “State-ist” to define those who pander to the ruling government at the cost of the issue or cause at hand. JAP seems to fulfill that definition to the T.

Perhaps, why JAP has knowingly failed to mention these issues is best explained by Section 16 of their manifesto wherein they seek to, “Foster, nurture and develop human resources with the GOAL of CAPABILITY BUILDING for REAL AUTONOMY AND SELF-GOVERNANCE.”

I don’t know what others think about this particular section, for me one message emerges out loud – currently we are not capable of running our own affairs and we need to focus on “capability building” to be eligible for real autonomy and self-governance.

“Real Autonomy” can mean anything, and so can “self-governance.” Panchayat is a self-governance body, GTA is an autonomous body and if it were handed over all the powers and departments by the treacherous Bengal government as agreed to on GTA Accord, then it would have real autonomy too. So what do JAP mean by these terms – “real autonomy” and “self-governance”?

It is also important to note that this document [JAP Manifesto] was possibly prepared by the same group of “intellectuals” who negotiated on our behalf and pushed our demand for Gorkhaland to accepting GTA [Proof:].

So when they start talking about “Real Autonomy” and “Self-Governance” it makes me question their sincerity towards Gorkhaland statehood.

However, I wish the new party good luck in their endeavour and hope that they will remain sincere, committed and honest towards the cause they believe in. Darjeeling needs a united and strong opposition, and I am hopeful that Jan Andolan Party will fulfill that gap.

I also sincerely hope that, much like how “Jan Awaz” and Prof. MP Lama conveniently disappeared after 2014 elections, “Jan Andolan” doesn’t disappear after 2016 elections.

Jai Gorkha!! Jai Gorkhaland!!

Via The Darjeeling Chronicle

Mamata Banerjee to develop Tiger Hill in Darjeeling

12:36 PM
Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, Sept. 1: Mamata Banerjee has decided to develop Tiger Hill, a well-known tourist point at 8,100ft famed for its view of the Kanchenjungha as well as the Everest on a clear day.
Darjeeling Tiger Hill in winter
Darjeeling Tiger Hill in winter
The chief minister had walked up to Tiger Hill on her visit to Darjeeling on August 26 and was captivated by the view. She then instructed the officials to develop the area.

Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastava today said: "We will basically take up three projects. The first will be to renovate a bungalow of the Darjeeling Improvement Fund, which is in a dilapidated condition. Apart from that, there are plans to renovate a forest museum, which was not opened for some reason. We will also work with the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration to develop the sunrise point at Tiger Hill."

The pavilion and the two-storied viewing point is under the GTA. The other two sites are under the state government.

Sources said senior officials of the state tourism department had surveyed Tiger Hill on Friday for the proposed project.

"As far as the museum is concerned, the forest department has agreed to take up the project," Srivastava said.

Sources in the GTA said the hill body had also been separately preparing a detailed report on developing the sunrise point.

The Tiger Hill area, 14km from Darjeeling town, was notified as a reserve forest in 1998. Srivastava said: "All projects will be undertaken only in permissible areas."

On May 15, 2013, Mamata had laid the foundation stone to revive a golf course at Tiger Hill. The project was to be undertaken by the GTA but it didn't take off because the site is part of the reserve forest.

The golf course's revival was planned under the Rs 200-crore special annual package offered to the GTA. The state government's tourism department had also decided to allocate Rs 2.10 crore for land reclamation and development of the area where the golf course existed.

According to the initial plan drawn up by the GTA tourism department, the nine-hole golf course was to have been spread over an area of 31.85 acres and would need an approximate expenditure of Rs 46 crore.

In 1907, the then district commissioner had leased out the golf course to a golf club christened Golf Links for 99 years. After the British left the country in 1947, Golf Links virtually became defunct.

Army personnel used the turf till the late 1980s. The army left the area as documents proved that the land actually belonged to the Darjeeling Improvement Fund (district administration).

The golf course gradually fell into ruin in the mid-90s when then chairman of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, Subash Ghisingh, moved in excavators and flattened a portion of the Tiger Hill area to construct a helipad.

With Ghisingh failing to obtain the necessary clearance from the ministry of environment and forests, the project at Tiger Hill was shelved and the helipad was built in the Dooteriya area, about 20km from Darjeeling.

Meanwhile, Mamata is scheduled to visit the hills from September 16-18.

According to the tentative plan, she is expected to visit the Dow Hill area in Kurseong for an inspection for the proposed educational hub.

The next day, she will be attending a programme of the Lepcha development board at Mela Grounds in Kalimpong followed by a meeting organised by the Tamang development board at Ronaldshay Park in Kalimpong on September 18," said an administrative source.

Source Telegraph

Kaman Singh Ramudamu Statue Unveiled - Man against Ghising's Sixth Schedule

9:57 AM
Vivek Chhetri

GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung today unveiled the statue of Kaman Singh Ramudamu, the first hill leader to speak out against GNLF chief Subash Ghisingh's Sixth Schedule demand in 2006.
Gurung unveils the statue of Kaman Singh Ramudamu in Darjeeling on Thursday.
Gurung unveils the statue of Kaman Singh Ramudamu in Darjeeling on Thursday.
As the president of the All India Nepali Schedule Caste Association, Ramudamu had led a rally of hundreds of his supporters at Sukhiapokhri, 28km from Darjeeling, on March 19, 2006, to oppose Ghisingh's decision to accept the Sixth Schedule status.

Ramudamu opposed the status, as there was no provision for reservation for the SC community in the new administrative arrangement mooted for the hills.

"He was lion-hearted and it needed courage to come out in the open then. He was an old man, otherwise, he would have gone missing as such was the political atmosphere then," Gurung said after unveiling the statue in front of the Raj Bhawan on the Mall Road here.

Today was Ramudamu's 86th birth anniversary. The statue was erected by the SC association.

Ramudamu, who died on July 17, 2008, was a retired divisional account officer of the Indian Railways.

He had also translated a section of the Indian Constitution pertaining to the rights and privileges of the scheduled caste community from English into Nepali.

According to the memorandum of settlement signed by the Centre, state and the GNLF in 2005, a new administrative arrangement was to be put in place in the hills under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

The Gorkha Hill Council, Darjeeling, that was supposed to replace the then Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), was to have 33 seats, of which 10 were to be reserved for Scheduled Tribes and three for other communities. Five members of the council were to be nominated by the governor.

Ramudamu took on Ghisingh as not a single seat was reserved for the SC community. "When the STs can get 10 seats, I see no reason why the SCs cannot get three," Ramudamu had said.

He was rooting for three seats as the SC community formed around nine per cent of the hill population.

Gurung was with Ghisingh's GNLF when Ramudamu came out in the open against the then undisputed hill leader. Interestingly, when Gurung formed the Morcha later, he made Ramudamu the vice-president of the outfit.

Gurung today said: "When I first approached Kaman Singh Ramudamu (to join the Morcha), he had refused stating that he was basically a social worker working for the uplift of his community and it would not be right for him to be involved with a political party. He, however, changed his mind and decided to join the party to espouse the statehood cause."

Ramudamu had presided over the meeting where the Morcha was formed on October 7, 2007. Gurung and Ramudamu together unfurled the Morcha flag.

"I have come across many people. Ramudamu was one who was not interested in political benefits but was only concerned about the welfare of his community and the people of the region," Gurung said today.

Source: Telegraph

Term Gorkhaland Coined by British officer not Subash Ghishing - Roshan Giri

10:09 AM
Roshan Giri, a senior Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader, today waved a book by a British officer written before India's Independence and said the term "Gorkhaland", contrary to popular belief, was not used by Subash Ghisingh first, but by Major W. Brook Northey.

Roshan Giri says Birtish officer, not Ghisingh, first used the word Gurkha-land to describe hills
Roshan Giri says Birtish officer, not Ghisingh, first used the word Gurkha-land to describe hills
Giri, at a seminar organised by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's Study Forum, said: "Everyone thinks it was Subash Ghisingh who coined the word but this is not the truth. The word was coined by W. Brook Northey in his book The Land of the Gurkhas in 1937."

Giri's assertion comes days after Mann Ghisingh, the younger son of the late GNLF chief Subash Ghisingh, hinted that the party would have no option but to demand statehood if its Sixth Schedule demand was not met by the Centre. If the GNLF now gives a call for statehood, it will be realigning its campaign to suit the popular sentiment in the hills.

By mentioning the book, Giri's tired to burn a hole into the GNLF's claim that their late leader had coined the term "Gorkhaland", honouring which Subash Ghisingh's party also observed Gorkhaland Namakaran Diwas - a Gorkhaland Naming Day - on its founding day, April 5.

The full title of the book mentioned by Giri is The Land of the Gurkhas or the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal.

The British always wrote Gurkhas, not Gorkhas. Major Northey served in the 1st Gurkha Rifles.

Giri, while waving the book at the audience, said: "This book should dispel all false claims."

Metro managed to get a copy of the book that Giri had waved at the audience at Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan in Darjeeling today.

Page 201 of Chapter XX - titled The Eastern Border - in the book reads as follows: "Although a visit to Nepal, or even crossing the Nepalese frontier, may not be possible for everyone, it may be of interest to note for the benefit of those desirous of learning more of the Gurkha's cheerful and engaging personality that in Darjeeling there is what may be termed an Indian Gurkha-land, where he can be studied at first hand without let or hindrance."

On page 221 of the book, in the chapter Darjeeling Today (Chapter XXII), Northey wrote: "Less vividly attired but hardly less picturesque are the Nepalese women, for Darjeeling bazaar is the Bond Street of Gurkha-land, and here the shawls and veils which the women wear over the heads, Italian-fashion, are of a texture and a colour rarely seen in Nepal proper, to which high-heeled shoes will possibly be added in due course."

The seminar at which Giri was speaking today is titled Gorkhaland 2015: Creation of smaller states and the demand for Gorkhaland as well as relevance of Gorkhaland to the Indian Gorkha identity.

Mann, when told about the usage of Gurkha-land before his father, said today: "We will have to see and find out."

From the preface of Northey's book it is clear that he had worked with the Gurkha Regiment for 20 years, which included training the Nepal Escort in Kathmandu in 1910, service with the Nepalese Contingent on the Indian frontier during the World War I and in the post of recruiting officer for five years.

The book is largely on Nepal and Northey, while explaining his work, states in the preface: "In writing this book, undertaken at the suggestion of many friends, I have tried to steer a middle course between those accounts of Nepal, inevitably cursory and incomplete, that are to be found in ordinary works of travel whose authors have paid merely brief visits to that little-known country, and the more elaborate and exhaustive works written by those who from their close connection, official or non-official, with the country, can claim to be actual experts on the subject."

According to the book, Northey was also conferred with the Order of the Star of Nepal title.

Even though the demand for a separate administrative unit for the Darjeeling hills was raised in 1907, post-Independence, Ghisingh was the first to use the term after the GNLF was formed on April 5, 1980.

Source: Telegraph

Ghisingh's desire to write a book on Gorkhas dead in WW II unfulfilled

9:50 AM
PRASHANT ACHARYA, SILIGURI, 3 Feb 2015: Evereyone knows that Subash Ghisingh, who can be unarguably credited for kindling the dream of a Gorkhaland state in the hearts of the people of Darjeeling, has died before realising his political goal.
A dream unfulfilled: A book on Gorkhas dead in WW II
Subasyh Ghishing's last rite - Pic by Chendup Lepcha
It is little known, however, that his desire to write a book on the sacrifices made by the Gorkhas during the Second World War has also remained unfulfilled. He had done his homework well and had even visited Myanmar and Thailand to gather facts as these places were where the maximum number of Gorkha soldiers died during the war.

GNLF central committee member and Ghisingh’s close aide Prakash Dahal said on Tuesdsay: “Ghisinghji was planning to write a book on the Gorkha soldiers who sacrificed their life in World War II. We visited Myanmar seven times and Thailand once to gather detailed information including photographs for the planned book.”

Dahal said Ghisingh took pictures of the graves of Gorkha soldiers and noted down their ranks, names, addresses and areas of activity. Ghisingh’s last visit to Myanmar was in 2012. In Thailand, he toured the famous Death Bridge in Kanchanburi to gather detailed information of the Gorkha soldiers who had died there. Made famous as ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ internationally, thanks to motion pictures, during WW II thousands of allied prisoners of war had been engaged by the Japanese army to construct the bridge. Many of them had perished because of brutal treatment by their captors.

World War II had no fewer than 40 Gorkha Battalions in British service, and they included parachute, garrison and training units to take the total to 112,000 men. Together with British and Commonwealth troops, the Gorkhas have fought in Syria, the Western Desert, Italy and Greece, North Malaya to Singapore, and from the Siamese border through Myanmar to Imphal and again to Rangoon.

While still a young boy, Ghisingh’s mother had told him how his maternal uncle was killed in the Burma war. Since then he had nursed a keen desire to visit Myanmar to gather more information on the brave Gorkha soldiers who died fighting for India.

Source: EOI

Subash Ghisingh last rites at his ancestral place Manju tea estate

8:41 AM
Sherab Ghisingh was today brought to his birthplace at Lepcha Khop near Darjeeling. He came back as Subash Ghisingh.
Subash Ghisingh last rites at his ancestral place Manju tea estate
The GNLF chief when alive had not stayed for even a night at a home built for him in his ancestral village. Today, too, the body was not taken there for religious reasons - once a body leaves a home, it does not enter another.
Other than Ghisingh's family and a few village elders, few know that Subash Ghisingh was born as Sherab.

Phurba Ghisingh, the cousin brother of Subash Ghisingh, said: "When I was small, I used to call him Sherab. Then he changed his name to Subash when he became an author and then, I too, started referring to him as Subash Ghisingh. Apart from his family members and our villager elders, few know him as Sherab."

It was in the 1960s that the GNLF leader first published his novel titled Fulmaya. He went on to write more than 22 novels, plays and compilation of poems.

He only used "Subash" in his published works. "He was Subash the writer, Ghisingh the leader," Phurba said.

This morning, thousands of people lined up along the streets when his body was brought from his Dr Zakhir Hussain Road residence in Darjeeling to his ancestral place Lepcha Khop that is near the Manju tea estate, 50km from Darjeeling town.

Residents of Sukhiapokhri, Mirik, Dudhia and other places in the hills shut their shops to pay their last respects to Ghisingh.

Darjeeling town, which had downed its shutters yesterday, remained closed in the morning till noon today.

Ghisingh was born at Lepcha Khop village at Manju division of Singbul tea garden on April 22, 1936.

He had, however, lived most part of his life in Darjeeling town.

Ghisingh started staying in Darjeeling from the 1950s, soon after returning from the army.

His family wanted his body to be brought to his native place and to his newly constructed home, in which for some reason, he had never spent a day.

Uma Tamang, the granddaughter of Ghisingh, said: "There was this old wooden ancestral home here. However, in 2001 the house was dismantled and a new structure was erected as a gift by his well-wishers. The house was completed in 2003 but for some reason he never stayed there."

Ashram Rai, a relative of the leader, said: "In 2004, he had come to his house but was very angry that the cemetery of his younger sister, Maichang, was not kept properly. This was probably the last time he came to this place."

Ghisingh had three elder brothers, Jita, Sindel, Lalit and an elder sister Manu. Maichang was his younger sister.

Today, his body was brought to his ancestral home - the three-hour journey from Darjeeling to Manju taking more than seven and half hours - but even then, Ghisingh's body did not enter his house because of religious reasons.

"Once a body is bid farewell from a house, it cannot enter a second house," said Phurba.

Ghisingh's body, which left Darjeeling around 9am today, reached the Lepcha Khop residence around 4.20pm.

The hearse was parked on one side of the two-storied house that has five rooms, for about 15 minutes, before the body was taken to Manjushree Park, about a kilometre away. Ghisingh's elder son Sagar lit the pyre at 5.15pm.

The park is about a kilometre from Ghisingh's ancestral place. The place is at present, looked after by his relatives. In Lepcha Khop there are about 20-odd houses of which five families are related to Subash Ghisingh.

Source: Telegraph

Hills Unite to Mourn Late. Subash Ghising

10:21 AM
Hills Unite to Mourn Late. Subash Ghising - Praise His Contribution Towards Gorkhalis in India

Forgetting for the moment their political and ideological differences, leaders of various political parties in the Darjeeling hills trooped to Subash Ghisingh’s house on Saturday to pay their last respects to the veteran Gorkha leader who died on Thursday in Delhi.

Hills Unite to Mourn Late. Subash Ghising
Hills Unite to Mourn Late. Subash Ghising- pic:The Darjeeling Chronicle
One of the first to reach Ghisingh’s house on Dr. Zakir Hussain Road was Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist (CPRM) president RB Rai and other senior CPRM leaders. “We must pay respect to leaders who have made contributions to society. Ghisingh was one such leader. He created mass awareness about the Gorkhaland issue and was the first person to raise the statehood demand before the state and central governments. With his demise, a chapter has come to an end in the politics of the hills,” said Rai, a former Rajya and Lok Sabha MP from Darjeeling.

Echoing similar sentiments, CPI (M) district secretariat member KB Wattar said, “An era in the history of the Indian Gorkhas has ended with Ghisingh’s departure. We had differences but it must be said that he was an astute leader. His demand for implementing the Sixth Schedule in the hills paved the way for the ongoing clamour for securing tribal status.”

All India Gorkha League (ABGL) general secretary Pratap Khati was another prominent face at the residence of the erstwhile chief of the Gorkha National Liberation Front and he placed ‘khadas’ and a wreath before speaking to Ghisingh’s family. “He was a great leader. It is because of him the word ‘Gorkhaland’ has become synonymous with Darjeeling and its people,” he pointed out.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) was represented by party vice-president RP Waiba and central committee leader Urmila Rumba. On Friday, GJM chief Bimal Gurung expressed his condolences and said he would send party representatives as he would not be able to come personally due to prior commitments. Hill Congress and Trinamool Congress leaders were also present at Ghisingh’s house to pay homage to the late leader.

As a mark of respect to Ghisingh, all offices of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) remained closed today. Shops and business establishments in town also voluntarily pulled down their shutters for the day although vehicular movement was normal. Employees of the Darjeeling court attended office but did not work for the day.

GNLF supporters from various places of Darjeeling district stood in long queues since 5:00am to offer khadas and flowers to their revered leader. Ghisingh’s younger son Mohan, who is the new leader of the party, said his father’s body will be taken to their ancestral home at Manju in Mirik on Sunday at 9:00am.

“The cortege will first make a round of Darjeeling town to allow people to pay their last respects and then leave for Manju for the last rites,” he said. Senior GNLF leaders have requested the people to observe an hour long bandh to facilitate smooth passage of the hearse and the convoy.

Source: EOI

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